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Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics$
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Wm. Theodore de Bary

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153973

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153973.001.0001

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Why We Read the Analects of Confucius

Why We Read the Analects of Confucius

Chapter:
(p.44) 3 Why We Read the Analects of Confucius
Source:
Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics
Author(s):

Wm. Theodore de Bary

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231153973.003.0003

This chapter discusses why and how the author reads the Analects of Confucius. It offers his thoughts on key passages that mark the Analects as classic, including the opening lines. It then examines the character of Confucius and his sense of personal vocation and mission. It suggests that this image of him in the pages of the Analects comes through as almost more compelling and memorable than his teachings and aphorisms, to such an extent that, despite his own disclaimers of his disciples' attributions of sagehood to him, among latter-day Confucians the picture of him as he appeared in the Analects became the very model of the Sage (though none could hardly boast of emulating the modesty of the Sage).

Keywords:   Confucius, Analects, personal vocation, mission, sage

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